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Become A Lawn Maintenance Worker

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Working As A Lawn Maintenance Worker

  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Controlling Machines and Processes
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Getting Information
  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • $23,437

    Average Salary

What Does A Lawn Maintenance Worker Do

Grounds maintenance workers ensure that the grounds of houses, businesses, and parks are attractive, orderly, and healthy in order to provide a pleasant outdoor environment.

Duties

Grounds maintenance workers typically do the following:

  • Mow, edge, and fertilize lawns
  • Weed and mulch landscape beds
  • Trim hedges, shrubs, and small trees
  • Remove dead, damaged, or unwanted trees
  • Plant flowers, trees, and shrubs
  • Water lawns, landscapes, and gardens
  • Monitor and maintain plant health

Grounds maintenance workers are generally under the direction of a professional grounds manager and perform a variety of tasks to achieve a pleasant and functional outdoor environment. They also care for indoor gardens and plantings in commercial and public facilities, such as malls, hotels, and botanical gardens.

The following are examples of types of grounds maintenance workers:

Landscaping workers plant trees, flowers, and shrubs to create new outdoor spaces or upgrade existing ones. They also trim, fertilize, mulch, and water plants. Some grade and install lawns or construct hardscapes such as walkways, patios, and decks. Others help install lighting or sprinkler systems. Landscaping workers are employed in a variety of residential and commercial settings, such as homes, apartment buildings, office buildings, shopping malls, and hotels and motels.

Groundskeeping workers, also called groundskeepers, maintain grounds. They care for plants and trees, rake and mulch leaves, and clear snow from walkways. They work on athletic fields, golf courses, cemeteries, university campuses, and parks, as well as in many of the same settings that landscaping workers work. They also see to the proper upkeep of sidewalks, parking lots, fountains, fences, planters, and benches, as well as groundskeeping equipment.

Groundskeeping workers who care for athletic fields keep natural and artificial turf in top condition, mark out boundaries, and paint turf with team logos and names before events. They mow, water, fertilize, and aerate the fields regularly. They must ensure that the underlying soil on fields with natural turf has the composition required to allow proper drainage and to support the grass used on the field. In sports venues, they vacuum and disinfect synthetic turf to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and they remove the turf and replace the cushioning pad periodically.

Groundskeepers in parks and recreation facilities care for lawns, trees, and shrubs; maintain playgrounds; clean buildings; and keep parking lots, picnic areas, and other public spaces free of litter. They also may erect and dismantle snow fences and maintain swimming pools. These workers inspect buildings and equipment, make needed repairs, and keep everything freshly painted.

Some groundskeepers specialize in caring for cemeteries and memorial gardens. They dig graves to specified depths, generally using a backhoe. They mow grass regularly, apply fertilizers and other chemicals, prune shrubs and trees, plant flowers, and remove debris from graves.

Greenskeepers maintain golf courses. Their work is similar to that of groundskeepers, but they also periodically relocate holes on putting greens and maintain benches and tee markers along the course and provide more intense turf maintenance. In addition, greenskeepers keep canopies, benches, and tee markers repaired and freshly painted.

Pesticide handlers, sprayers, and applicators apply herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides on plants or the soil to prevent or control weeds, insects, and diseases. Those who work for chemical lawn or tree service firms are more specialized, inspecting lawns for problems and applying fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals to stimulate growth and prevent or control weeds, diseases, or insect infestations.

Tree trimmers and pruners, also called arborists, cut away dead or excess branches from trees or shrubs to clear utility lines, roads, and sidewalks. Although many of these workers strive to improve the appearance and health of trees and plants, some specialize in diagnosing and treating tree diseases. Others specialize in pruning, trimming, and shaping ornamental trees and shrubs. Tree trimmers and pruners use chain saws, chippers, and stump grinders while on the job. When trimming near power lines, they usually work on truck-mounted lifts and use power pruners.

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How To Become A Lawn Maintenance Worker

Most grounds maintenance workers need no formal education and are trained on the job. Most states require licensing for workers who apply pesticides and fertilizers.

Education

Although most grounds maintenance jobs have no education requirements, some employers may require formal education or certification in areas such as landscape design, horticulture, or arboriculture.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Most states require workers who apply pesticides and fertilizers to be licensed. Obtaining a license usually involves passing a test on the proper use and disposal of insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides.

The National Association of Landscape Professionals offers seven certifications in landscaping and grounds maintenance for workers at various experience levels.

The Tree Care Industry Association offers certification for tree care safety professionals.

The International Society of Arboriculture offers six certifications for workers at various experience levels.

The Professional Grounds Management Society offers certification for workers at various experience levels.

Training

A short period of on-the-job training is usually enough to teach new hires the skills they need, which often include how to plant and maintain areas and how to use mowers, trimmers, leaf blowers, small tractors, and other equipment. Large institutional employers such as golf courses, university campuses, or municipalities may supplement on-the-job training with coursework in horticulture or small-engine repair.

Advancement

Grounds maintenance workers who have good communication skills may become crew leaders or advance into other supervisory positions. Becoming a manager or a landscape contractor may require some formal education and several years of related work experience. Some workers use their experience to start their own landscaping companies.

Important Qualities

Physical stamina. Grounds maintenance workers must be capable of doing physically strenuous labor for long hours, occasionally in extreme heat or cold.

Self-motivated. Because they often work with little supervision, grounds maintenance workers must be able to do their job independently.

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Average Length of Employment
Maintenance Worker 2.3 years
Lawn Care Worker 2.3 years
Grounds Keeper 2.1 years
Ground Worker 2.0 years
Landscape Labour 1.9 years
Landscaper 1.9 years
Mower 1.4 years
Top Careers Before Lawn Maintenance Worker
Cashier 11.5%
Cook 9.4%
Landscaper 4.5%
Janitor 4.2%
Driver 3.8%
Volunteer 3.8%
Teller 3.8%
Stocker 3.5%
Assistant 3.5%
Cleaner 3.5%
Assembler 3.1%
Detailer 3.1%
Top Careers After Lawn Maintenance Worker
Cashier 6.1%
Cook 5.0%
Welder 4.3%
Assistant 4.3%
Internship 3.9%
Server 3.9%
Detailer 3.9%
Driver 3.9%
Stocker 3.6%
Volunteer 3.6%

Do you work as a Lawn Maintenance Worker?

Lawn Maintenance Worker Demographics

Gender

Male

87.0%

Female

11.8%

Unknown

1.2%
Ethnicity

White

64.2%

Hispanic or Latino

15.2%

Black or African American

11.9%

Asian

5.7%

Unknown

3.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

92.3%

German

7.7%

Lawn Maintenance Worker Education

Schools

Western Michigan University

7.0%

University of Central Arkansas

7.0%

Wake Technical Community College

7.0%

Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

4.7%

Daytona State College

4.7%

Nash Community College

4.7%

Walla Walla Community College

4.7%

Auburn University

4.7%

Radford University

4.7%

Gulf Coast State College

4.7%

Full Sail University

4.7%

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

4.7%

Brigham Young University

4.7%

Central Michigan University

4.7%

Lansing Community College

4.7%

Joliet Junior College

4.7%

Pioneer Technology Center

4.7%

Colorado Mesa University

4.7%

Grand Rapids Community College

4.7%

Tri-County Technical College

4.7%
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Majors

Business

17.5%

General Studies

12.2%

Automotive Technology

6.9%

Criminal Justice

6.9%

Psychology

6.9%

Precision Metal Working

5.8%

Computer Science

4.8%

Mechanical Engineering

4.2%

Biology

3.7%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.2%

Industrial Technology

3.2%

Medical Assisting Services

3.2%

Information Technology

3.2%

Chemistry

2.6%

Graphic Design

2.6%

Finance

2.6%

Medical Technician

2.6%

Heating And Air Conditioning

2.6%

Construction Management

2.6%

Accounting

2.6%
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Degrees

Other

49.0%

Bachelors

25.8%

Associate

14.8%

Certificate

6.5%

Masters

1.8%

Diploma

1.5%

License

0.3%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Lawn Maintenance Worker Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Lawn Maintenance Workers Green Pride Landscaping Inc. NJ Apr 01, 2015 $29,948
Lawn Maintenance Green Boys Lawncare, Inc. Topeka, KS Mar 08, 2016 $27,319
Lawn and Landscape Maintenance Winter Green II Lawn and Landscape, Inc. Shelby, MI May 25, 2016 $27,256
Lawn Maintenance Green Boys Lawncare, Inc. KS Mar 01, 2015 $25,837
Lawn Maintenance Laborer Twigs Landscaping, Inc. Norman, OK May 17, 2016 $25,691
Lawn Maintenace Worker Robbins Lawn Services, Inc. Naples, FL Nov 17, 2015 $24,001
Lawn Maintenance Workers The Gardener, Inc. Lexington, KY Apr 01, 2016 $23,541
Lawn Maintenance Laborer Twigs Landscaping, Inc. OK May 30, 2014 $23,541
Lawn Maintenance Worker Hispano Lawnmaintenance & Landscaping Co. Joliet, IL Apr 18, 2016 $23,479
Lawn Maintenance Worker Hispano Lawnmaintenance & Landscaping Co. Joliet, IL Apr 17, 2016 $23,479
Lawn and Landscape Maintenance Persac Lawn and Landscape, LLC Baton Rouge, LA Apr 01, 2016 $23,416
Lawn and Landscape Maintenance Persac Lawn and Landscape, LLC LA Mar 15, 2015 $23,416
Lawn and Landscape Maintenance Persac Lawn and Landscape, LLC LA Apr 10, 2015 $23,416
Lawn and Landscape Maintenance Persac Lawn and Landscape, LLC LA Mar 14, 2014 $22,957
Lawn and Landscape Maintenance Persac Lawn and Landscape, LLC LA May 01, 2014 $22,957
Lawn and Landscape Maintenance Persac Lawn and Landscape, LLC LA Apr 21, 2014 $22,957
Lawn Maintenance Peltier Lawn Service, Inc. Shawnee, OK Apr 01, 2016 $22,811
Lawn Maintenance Peltier Lawn Service, Inc. OK Apr 01, 2015 $22,644
Lawn Maintenance Peltier Lawn Service, Inc. OK Mar 15, 2014 $22,331
Lawn Maintenance Laborer Landry's Lawn Service and Landscaping, L.L.C. Jeanerette, LA Apr 01, 2016 $22,227

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Top Skills for A Lawn Maintenance Worker

  1. Flower Beds
  2. Removal
  3. Edge Lawns
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Mow, trim, and edge, assist with rock walls/flower beds and maintain upkeep of lawns in three plus cities.
  • Serviced with complete lawn care: clearing of debris, leaves, trimming, mowing, edging, planting & removal.
  • Summer High School Work Program * Mow or edge lawns, using power mowers or edgers.
  • Performed yard maintenance by cutting, fertilizing, and edging lawns of small businesses, apartment complexes, and individual residences.
  • Plant and maintain trees, shrubs and flowers using hand tools.

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Top 10 Best States for Lawn Maintenance Workers

  1. Alaska
  2. Minnesota
  3. Washington
  4. Colorado
  5. Wyoming
  6. Rhode Island
  7. Oregon
  8. Connecticut
  9. Nebraska
  10. Massachusetts
  • (13 jobs)
  • (150 jobs)
  • (116 jobs)
  • (168 jobs)
  • (12 jobs)
  • (12 jobs)
  • (55 jobs)
  • (36 jobs)
  • (38 jobs)
  • (63 jobs)

Top Lawn Maintenance Worker Employers

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